Camp SummerSign: How the Deaf Ministry is Changing the World
July 11, 2019
As we are quickly making our way through the summer, I wanted to ask that you continue to pray for our camps. The Deaf Church’s Camp SummerSign, which started in June, will continue through July 26. The camp is for Deaf children and hearing siblings. It's an 8-week, gospel-centered Deaf language and culture immersion experience. There’s nothing like it anywhere else. We have a total of 64 campers, 8 junior staff (ages 14–18), 15 full-time staff, and so many volunteers. It’s an all-day, every-day event, which provides the time to build relationships, process spiritual truth, and hone language skills.
Jacob Thornton, one of our camp staff members, shared his story with us.
“I am 25 years old and a sophomore at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. I am Deaf. I am a member of the Deaf Church DC planted through The Deaf Church at Brentwood, and I am from Columbus, OH.
I would love to share how God is growing me this summer with Camp SummerSign. I am directing the teen camp through July 26. I have two college staff with me. I had no idea what God would show me this summer. He showed me two things: I needed to extend grace and work within a community. I learned both from five Deaf senior citizens within the Deaf Church right here in Brentwood.
We joyfully refer to our seniors as Camp SummerSign Grandparents. They are Deaf, and they all sign. I realized the importance of community from them. I didn’t think community existed. I didn’t value community. God showed me that Deaf seniors, Deaf young adults, and Deaf teens all need one another–I now value this community. We are a community because we all communicate through American Sign Language. I have never seen anything like this and really wasn’t sure how it would go this summer. These retired members have so much to teach me and our teens. They have poured into each of us daily. The Deaf teens don’t know how big a gift this summer is for them. This is community! And, they showed me grace!
So far, we have learned how to use a table saw to create wooden projects and tools for gardening at Cul2vate. We have also learned the mechanics of pressure washing at elderly Deaf homes, how to change oil in cars and lawn mowers, and how to share the gospel. All of this is led by Deaf people in our heart language.”
God is really moving at Camp SummerSign and is ministering to all ages. With Teen Camp, Deaf/Blind Experiences, and Camp SummerSign MiNi (for our toddlers), we have the power to transform families for a lifetime!
- Pray for safety, strength, and stamina.
- Pray for spiritual breakthroughs. The Bible study focus is Moses–specifically where God says to Moses, “I made the Deaf.” We want parents to see their Deaf child as a gift from God! We want Deaf children to see themselves as whole and loved.
- Pray for parents of Deaf children to desire to learn sign language.
- Pray for the Deaf and hearing children to be equipped to boldly share their faith. We want them to see themselves as not only loved by God, but also that they can be used by God.
– On behalf of Aric Randolf, Beryl Corey, and the Deaf Church Members and Staff